July 16, 2016 10:46 am
Updated: July 16, 2016 12:28 pm

A UBC first? Sailboat designed to cross the Atlantic, alone

WATCH: A team of UBC students is hoping its boat will make it across the Atlantic Ocean… with no one on board. Linda Aylesworth reports.

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Ada might not be the first autonomous sailboat, but it might be the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean on its own.

Sixty-seven students from the UBC sailboat team have been working on the project for the past three years.

“This isn’t for a class project, it’s not for an assignment, we don’t get any class credit, we are not getting paid by anyone. It’s just a bunch of crazy students coming together doing something awesome,” said Vivian Cheung, with the UBC sailboat team.

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The team will be taking the boat to St. John’s,  N.L. this August, where it will sail to Ireland.

This is not the first time an autonomous sailboat has attempted the journey, but all of the attempts were unsuccessful.

“We’re talking about the North Atlantic here which can get pretty stormy at times. We do expect pretty high winds all the way across,” said Conner Vanderburg, another member of the team.

The sailboat has solar panels for fuel and an internal GPS for guidance. It also has two infrared cameras that can detect icebergs or obstacles.

The boat was named after Ada Lovelace, who’s considered to be the world’s first computer programmer.

With Files from Linda Aylesworth.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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